3 Steps to Make Your Church Giving Campaign Compelling

There’s a reason New Year’s resolutions like “pray more” tend to fail. “More” is vague—when will you feel like you’ve reached your resolution? And if you’re talking about church giving campaign goals, “more” means practically nothing to your donors.

That’s why it’s important to make your goals visible—and there are three main steps to help you along the way:

  1. Set measurable goals
  2. Choose tangible projects
  3. Show your progress

As we dig more into each of those steps, think about how you can make each of them fit your church’s specific context.

1. Set measurable goals for your church capital campaign

If your goal is simply to “give more to missions,” people probably won’t be motivated to give because they won’t know what “more” means. But it’s different to say, “We’re giving $20,000 to missions—$10,000 to a local homeless shelter and $10,000 to build a church in India.” That’s a specific goal with a specific result—one your givers can see.

2. Choose tangible projects

Making your goals measurable is only one part of the equation, though. You’ll see more excitement and generosity when you make your goals tangible. For example, watching a building renovation in progress or hearing how a missionary cared for 12 orphans is exciting, and givers can’t help but think, “My gift helped make that happen.”

Plus, seeing, hearing, and experiencing the effect of giving inspires more giving.

So, how can you pick a tangible goal? Here are some examples of tangible and intangible goals:

Intangible Tangible
Paying off your church’s mortgage Buying or renovating your building
Generic missions giving Building a new church in Thailand
Saving for an emergency fund Hiring a new pastor or staffer
Regular church maintenance Buying a sound system

Those intangible goals are important, but they may not be right for a church giving campaign.

But if you’re set on raising money toward an intangible goal, here’s my best suggestion for how to do it: tie a visible goal and an intangible goal together. 

I worked on a capital campaign with a huge goal to reduce the debt on our building. And while we often shared with our members about why we needed to pay down our mortgage (we talked about it in each membership class), reducing building debt wasn’t motivating enough for givers to carry the whole campaign. That’s why we added a goal to renovate our building. Though it desperately needed renovation, we weren’t willing to go into more debt to make that happen. Tying debt reduction to building improvement made both possible, when neither goal would have been achievable on its own.

What visible goals can you link with intangible goals? Try to make them relate as best you can, so your campaign message can be simple and powerful.

3. Show your progress

Another tip for making your campaign visible is using photos and visuals. If you’re doing a project around your building, you can hang a foam-core sign in front of the construction that says something like, “This project is funded by [Your Campaign Name]” with your campaign graphics.

Or to make your progress visible in another way, check out LakePointe Church’s giving page. A ticker shows the number of baptisms, mission trips, and families assisted in 2018—all thanks to church members’ generosity.  You don’t have to have stats in the thousands to make your giving page more compelling—givers want to know how your church is making a difference in your context.

Videos are unbeatable for showing progress—and you can pull it off whether you have a whole video crew or one person with a smartphone. Do a building tour to highlight what’s new or interview a missionary during your service. Then, post these videos to your church website so people can easily find them and be encouraged.

When you make your goals visible, people will draw the connection between their giving and the progress they’re seeing—and they’ll be more excited to keep giving.

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Looking for the blueprint to a successful and cringe-free church giving campaign? Plan your campaign with this free guide.

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Written by
Jennifer Grisham

Jennifer Grisham is a writer for Faithlife, makers of Logos Bible Software and other tools for churches. She previously served as director of administration at a church and managing editor and administrator for a ministry to worship leaders. Her work has been published by The Gospel Coalition, The Gospel Project, and Doxology & Theology, to name a few.

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Written by Jennifer Grisham